Saturday, August 25, 2012

The US Department of State's Guide to Passport and Visa Photography


Anyone who's ever gone to school, applied for a job or voted in governmental elections will have had his identification photo taken. The look of the ID picture is so fundamental that a beginner can have his taken without any instructions. However, in case of passports and visas, the State Department isn't taking any chances by making instructions plain and obvious to avoid mistakes. The US Department of State's Guide to Passport and Visa ID Photography.


The US Department of State has done a great job providing its citizens with a helpful travel website through http://travel.state.gov/. There, readers can learn about safety and emergency tips for traveling abroad, and go through the application and renewal process for Passports and Visas.

The website provides a list of photograph requirements for the Visa or Passport ID photo, as well as a section for Frequently Asked Questions. The usual ID photo instructions are detailed there; the image should be in color, should be taken against a plain white background, etc. To make these instructions as clear as possible, the State Department even provides a few photo examples of these instructions.

Unfortunately, a few of these tips seem so painfully obvious that they appear comical. Still, it stands to reason that the State Department must receive several applications with these incorrect photos, otherwise they wouldn't have made this photo guide in the first place.


The full Visa and Passport photo guide can be found on the The Bureau of Consular Affairs / US Department of State website. You might also like this tongue-in-cheek photography guide for beginners.

11 comments:

The Angry Lurker said...

I get an even longer list just for my security licence picture and the signature on the back of the photo!

Stas Shmy said...

Thanks for the info:D

Fang said...

So much nitpicking. Why would a tilted head be less recognizable than a "correct position"?

r.alsharif said...

Yekh, I hate passport/license pictures!

D4 said...

This amuses me..

DWei said...

No need for this. I'm Canadian. :P

Beau Thompson said...

I LoL'd pretty hard at this guide. It's just so ridiculous!

Generally Disgruntled said...

Ha!

Bart said...

lol i dont think ive ever been denied a passport due to a pic

jaykaydee said...

Hahaha! I don't think I've ever seen anyone do the "incorrect" poses. Sucks I have to carry my passport around as my ID (no license/state/liquor ID). I look awful in that picture!!

G said...

I once spent a summer processing passport applications and although you think it would be easy...there were loads of people who'd got it all wrong

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